The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.
Cody stared at the setup Mitch had worked most of the day to create. Mitch was feeling pleased with himself with the entire plan he’d worked out with Gordy and Sam. Now he had the biggest battle ahead of him, and he was ready. Cody better bring his ‘A’ game.
Mitch pushed the wheelchair to the top of the ramp they’d built to help get onto the horse. He set the brakes on the chair before walking over to get the horse they had borrowed from a local equine therapy place. They had assured Mitch that Cody couldn’t throw a fit big enough to rattle this horse.
“Okay, bud. You ready for a little ride?”
Cody had a death grip on the arms of his chair and an expression on his face that said he had no intention of sitting on that horse. He glared at Mitch. After a brief standoff, Mitch threw up his hands and walked back down the ramp. Cody watched for a few seconds and realized Mitch was leaving him on the platform.
“Hey! What the fuck! You can’t leave me up here.”
Mitch made some odd hand gesture over his shoulder that might have made sense to Darrin, but no one else in the world. “I’m done with begging or forcing you to do things that would help you. So I’m finished, and you can figure out how to get off.”
Mitch slowed his pace when he heard Cody moving. He stood waiting for what he hoped would be Cody’s reply. After an uncomfortably long pause, he heard a quiet voice. “I’ll ride the damn horse. You’d probably leave me out here all day, and I’m not using that pee bottle again.”
Mitch got his grin under control, so when he turned around, the expression he wore was as dower as you could hope to plaster across a face. He folded his arms across his chest and studied Cody.
“Then you’re finished with the poor me crap and ready to see if this will help?”
Cody squirmed uncomfortably before replying. “I’m not that bad.”
“You’ve been a royal pain in the ass—but you deserved a break. But now it’s time for you to suck it up and listen to other people. So here’s the deal. We try the therapy horse and then we call it a day.”
“And this is the therapy for today?”
“Yup. You can lay in bed and ring that damn bell while you watch TV and I won’t bitch about bringing you trays of junk food. Deal?”
“Do I have any choice?”
Cody let out a sigh that Mitch knew could be heard for several miles then looked at Mitch. “Fine. Let’s get this shit going. But so you know. If I fall, it won’t be good.”
Mitch started back, his face covered with a long practiced smirk. “You aren’t going to fall. This horse is better trained than I am. She’ll take good care of you.”
Cody grumbled the entire time Mitch was getting the final points ready. Once he was certain there were no problems, he moved the horse into position and put Cody’s chair so they could move him. They had a transfer system setup, and Mitch was glad they did. But before too long, Cody was in the saddle, looking terrified.
“How is this going to help?”
Mitch guided the horse forward for a few steps and stopped. “The motion of the horse makes you constantly catch your balance. So your muscles remember how to walk before the casts come off.”
They repeated the routine until Cody looked fatigued. “I think that’s enough for the first day. Let’s get you off the horse.”
They reversed the process but Mitch found out coming off was harder than going on. By the time they’d gotten Cody into his chair, there was no doubt it was time to stop. As he wheeled down the ramp, Cody motioned toward Mitch.
“What do you need?”
Cody’s face transformed into the first smile Mitch had seen on him. “Thanks, that was fun.”
[If you want to know more about Sam and Gordy don’t miss “Tackling the Subject” the story of how they met. Preorder started June 20th and Early Release slated for July 4th.]
The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.